Archive for July, 2015

July 21, 2015

Franco’s Bar open in Positano

Formerly one of the world’s most scenic car parks, a small terrace just above the Hotel Le Sirenuse has now become a stylish al fresco bar, open to all. The drinks menu is small but pays homage to a golden age of fine beverages, spirits, cocktails and bubbly.

The bar gets it’s name from Franco Sersale, who was an art connoisseur whose impeccable taste did so much to define the signature style of Le Sirenuse. From the pearl-white tiled floor, hand-fired by an ancient Salerno ceramics firm, to the selection of Mediterranean plants,  to designer slender, elegant, deep-blue garden tables and chairs in tubular steel, each new layer both complements and plays off against the others. Completing the design part of the equation are ‘Marie Antoinette’ lamps, intriguing by day and magical by night, Venetian designer fine string curtain made up of antique blue and white glass beads, and Murano tumblers with bold blue stripes. The bar’s logo, a blue sun or starburst with eight mermaid-tail rays, perfectly expresses the playful elegance of Positano’s new open-air salotto.

Franco's BarFranco’s is currently the only bar in Positano where no food is served, with the exception of a few gourmet nibbles (giant green olives, some rather more-ish potato chips). Food just distracts from that view – and the quality of the liquids list.

Located On Via Cristoforo Colombo, just above Le Sirenuse, Franco’s Bar is open daily from 6pm until midnight, weather permitting, from April through to October.

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July 16, 2015

Gelato – Summer Treat

Summer in central Tuscany has been warm.  And of course, high temperatures are felt more in the cities.

When Florence becomes too hot to bear, residents and tourists turn to gelato as a survival strategy.

Did you know that Gelato was born in Florence?

Indeed, gelato has Florentine origins. This knowledge will justify gelatoyour copious ice-cream eating in Florence this summer. Believed to have been created by Caterina de’ Medici, the noble lady served gelato to French guests when she married Henry II of France and moved her brigade of Florentine pastry chefs and cooks to Paris in 1533.

Cold, refreshing and well textured, Florence’s best gelato is not always where you might think. Avoid places with brightly coloured towering piles. Often, the best gelaterias do not even display their delights, preferring to keep them stored at the right temperature in chilled stainless steel containers.

You usually have to pay before you order. Choose between a cup (coppetta) or a cone (cono) and the size that you want. You’ll find that Florentines and long-term expats often go for the smallest possible dimension, preferring quality over quantity.

Even if you opt for the smallest version, you can still order two different varieties. A Florentine classic is buontalenti, a creamy vanilla made from egg yolks, complemented by refreshing fruity options such as lemon, strawberry and almond. Gelato making is not all about the traditional, however. The ice-cream scene is undergoing a revolution with the new generation of gelatai experimenting with unusual tastes, such as Chianti Classico (Edoardo, piazza Duomo), salted caramel (Grom, via dell’Oche) and black sesame (Gelateria Santa Trinita).  BUON APPETITO !

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